Even though I am not baking right now, my sweet tooth is still calling out for treats (my other tooth is calling out for a dentist, but I am afraid...very afraid...). Since the weather has warmed up all the way to the 60s (mental note: move farther south), I have been craving ice cream. But I couldn't decide on what flavor, so my indecision as usual caused me more work as I decided to make Neapolitan ice cream. And what better use for three ice cream flavors than a banana split?
The recipes are as follows: Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream by David Lebovitz, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (registration required) - modified from the original recipe by Cook's Illustrated, and Chocolate Ice Cream by Pierre Herme.
I have two bowls for my Cuisinart ice cream maker, so I was able to do one right after the other, and then re-chill the bowl while the second one was churning. That worked okay, but the last ice cream took a lot longer to churn and the texture was a bit more icy than desirable which I attribute to the bowl not being quite cold enough. However, they all turned out great.
The strawberry sour cream is the best of the bunch. The sour cream adds a tang but the strawberry flavor shines through. It also has the best texture of the bunch, probably because it has alcohol in it. The chocolate ice cream is very simple, a Philadelphia-style ice cream (no eggs) and with only 4 ingredients. It's very, very rich and also sets up rock hard but counterintuitively melts very quickly. It's best eaten the day it's made.
The vanilla ice cream is miles better than anything commercial. I use fewer yolks than Cook's Illustrated recommends because I don't care for the texture or the taste if the custard is too...custardy.
To round out the banana split, I diced fresh pineapple and, channeling my inner Paula Deen, simmered it with butter and sugar to make a rich and delicious topping. The chocolate sauce was also utter simplicity: equal parts cream and chocolate. Of course I whipped up some cream for gilding the lily and tradition forced me to use the jarred maraschino cherry. That will probably be my next challenge: canning my own cherries for toppings like this. It's about the only thing that I don't make from scratch!